ETMM caught up with NTMA President Dave Tilstone to get his assessment of the current climate in the US tool and mould making market, and summarise ISTMA activity during his presidency.
How do you feel US tool, die and mould makers are faring in the current market climate?
I recently spoke to our ISTMA members and some of the suppliers that provide products to the tooling people, and in general they continue to be busy. But a lot of the major automotive programs that drive much of their activity have not released the tooling orders, even though the new platforms for new cars scheduled in 2018 have not changed. So there is more concern about meeting the delivery requirements rather than any cancelling of those programs. Companies involved in supplying the medical sector, primarily the moulding people, are very, very busy. Procedures involving what I would call minimal invasive surgery are using more and more disposable plastic components like forceps, which are stamped and then machined, and suppliers here seem to be doing quite well.